What is configuration software?

Configuration can be seen from the English word that it means configuration and assembly. In other words, users can develop without using computer programming languages. The process is to use various components of the configuration software to form a software system that meets their own needs. The whole process is simple, the graphical interface is intuitive, and it conforms to people's natural thinking, allowing users to focus more on functions. Logical design greatly reduces the development cycle, saves development funds and obtains a reliable and safe functional system.

What is configuration software?

Configuration software SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) refers to special software for data collection and storage, process monitoring and control. In the automatic control system, it belongs to the system monitoring layer. It has graphic display technology, standardized communication protocols and interfaces.

When it runs in the configuration development environment, users can use the rich components and setting items provided by the software. Through the cooperation of the software development environment and the actual machine, the end user can customize applications that meet their needs. When the target software is running, it can help operators monitor the production process and record historical operating data of various component sensors to quickly identify problems and reduce the risk of unplanned downtime.

Common functions of configuration software

① Create a graphical user interface

② Real-time data collection and display

③ Provide data recording and historical data analysis functions

④Remote access and control

⑤ Communicate with control equipment such as PLC

Common configuration software

Common configuration software on the market includes InTouch, iFix, Citech, WinCC, Kingview, Controlx, ForceControl, Cimplicity, RSView Supervisory Edition, NI Lookout, Wizcon, MCGS, etc.

Wonderware (AVEVA): Wonderware is a product series of AVEVA Company, which provides a wide range of configuration software solutions, including InTouch (for human-machine interface design and monitoring) and System Platform (for industrial process management and integration).

Ignition by Inductive Automation: Ignition is a flexible SCADA/configuration software platform that provides a wide range of tools, including visual design, real-time monitoring, historical data analysis, etc.

WinCC by Siemens: Siemens WinCC is Siemens' configuration software. It is a set of software for human-machine interface (HMI) and SCADA applications and is widely used in the field of industrial automation.

Intellution iFIX by GE Digital: iFIX is a configuration software owned by GE Digital, used for monitoring, control and data acquisition, and is suitable for various industrial processes.

Citect SCADA by Schneider Electric: Citect SCADA is SCADA software provided by Schneider Electric for monitoring and controlling industrial processes.

VTScada by Trihedral: VTScada is a full-featured SCADA software that supports graphical HMI design, real-time monitoring, historical data recording and other functions.

LabVIEW by National Instruments: LabVIEW is not only an engineering development environment for test and measurement, but also for configuration and monitoring. It is a graphical programming tool widely used in scientific, engineering, and industrial applications.

Zenon by COPA-DATA: Zenon is COPA-DATA's SCADA and HMI software that provides visualization and control functions for industrial automation.

King View: The industrial automation configuration software launched by Asia Control Technology provides a wealth of graphical editing tools and communication functions, which can help users quickly create and deploy industrial automation systems. It has high domestic installed capacity, market share and great influence.

Force Control: ForceControl is also one of the earlier configuration software that appeared in China. Many aspects of the design are from the perspective of domestic users, and it is widely used in many industries such as electric power, petrochemicals, and metallurgy.

MCGS: MCGS is an industrial automation control software platform developed by Kunlun Tongtai. It can quickly build a host computer monitoring system to achieve efficient monitoring and control of industrial equipment and processes.

The above listed are only some of the many configuration software, each of which has different characteristics and advantages to meet the needs of industrial automation projects of different levels and sizes.

The relationship between configuration software and HMI

HMI (Human Machine Interface) usually refers to a user interface in the form of hardware or software that allows operators to interact with the control system graphically. HMI can be hardware in the form of touch screens, panels, displays, etc., or it can be applications running on these hardware.

Configuration software is often used to develop and design HMI interfaces and functions. In the field of modern industrial control, HMI equipment is often equipped with corresponding configuration software tools, allowing users to design on the PC and download it to the HMI hardware for execution. This means that the HMI hardware not only contains display and input components, but also integrates the executable files compiled and generated by the configuration software.

The relationship between configuration software and industrial control systems

Industrial Control System (ICS) is a broad concept that includes hardware and software used to monitor and control industrial processes. ICS includes all components from sensors and actuators to controllers and monitoring systems. Configuration software is often integrated with other components of industrial control systems to obtain real-time data and provide control interfaces to operators. It does not directly perform actual control, but is implemented through communication with underlying hardware (such as PLC and RTU).